Fashion fantasy was given a futuristic polish on the runways of Milan Fashion Week (September 21-27) to create a very modern kind of romance for Spring/Summer 2017. All eyes were on the Swarovski Collective members as they stepped into the spotlight with collections that had fashion insiders noting them as next-generation names.
Vienna native, Arthur Arbesser, explored his Austrian roots with a series of androgynous looks that drew on the country’s early 20th-century uniforms, as well as school and holiday clothes, many worn by his grandfather in old family photos. The retro-utilitarian theme was given an ultra-modern revamp through the eye-popping use of acid brights and startling fabrics: floral lace received a camo-print makeover; heat-transfer crystal gave prim silk gingham a space-age sheen; and sailor silhouettes contrasted neon green with crimson ‘crystal rock’ arrow motifs.
Giuseppe Di Morabito was also in playful mood, exploring the idea of ‘caprice’ (impulsive and whimsical behavior) with a style he calls “Post-Romantic”: urban and sports styles mixed with dazzling haute couture opulence as low-key denim dresses were embroidered with flowers and given a flamboyant spray of mesh at the shoulder. Pastel sweats were softened with ruffles, and trench coats reinvented in gold-laminated jacquard. A crystal-blitzed A-line skirt tells it like it was, spelling out “Bonkers” in glittering pink and blue.
If Morabito was crazy for contrast, then Vivetta was falling for fairy tales. The romantic beauty of Cinderella, The Magic Flute and the pioneering silhouette animation of film director Lotte Reiniger were brought to eccentric life across prints on silk blouses and layered silk dresses, as well as embroidery on poplin shirts. Inspiration from the Orient, from French tapestry, broderie anglaise, and English cottage gardens was also apparent. But our favorite details were the sweetly embroidered pictures of flowers with faces, sailing ships tossed on seas, and rainbows, each of them glittering with myriad crystals. Like all good fairy tales, they all lived happily ever after, of course.
PHOTOGRAPHY RUNWAY: DAN LECCA
PHOTOGRAPHY BACKSTAGE: ELI SCHMIDT